Restaurant Review: Eno Terra in Kingston, NJ
Eno Terra, is a restaurant in the Terra Momo Restaurant Group, and is located in Kingston, NJ (the only tri-county town in the state), which is just outside of Princeton. It’s located next to the Kingston Mill in the historic district. The building, which was originally a general store, has been restore and maintains its historic charm. There are many natural elements that give it an organic feel, which compliments the local and organic food served inside. There is ample free parking, but as popular as this restaurant is, I’m sure the valet parking comes in handy on the weekend.
Upon entering, two of the staff immediately greeted my husband and I. We booked through Open Table and indicated it was our first time. The hostess must’ve noticed this and mentioned it, and asked how we knew about the restaurant. A gentleman checked our coats and showed us to our table. The interior is gorgeous. It has the contemporary stylings of a boutique hotel. There are gas fireplaces on both levels that create a romantic atmosphere. A salumi bar is just beyond the entrance where they prepare the salami, cheeses, etc. Bread from the Witherspoon Bread Company (also part of the group) is stored and sliced here. It has a living mural on the wall behind it, which appears to be moss growing on it, along with stones and wood forming a winding path. The slate patio has a field stone retaining wall, split rail fencing and a stacked twig retaining wall, which can be seen from the main dining room. There is no service on the patio; however, you can bring food and drinks out there from the bar to dine al fresco. The bar is in the very front of the restaurant, and has stools along the counter, as well as tables around the perimeter. There’s also a flat screen TV.
It was a few minutes before our server came, and took our drink orders. After he brought our drinks we received menus that were printed sheets over hard wood tablets, which connected with the entire organic feel. A few minutes later the server assistant brought us bread with dipping oil.
My husband ordered the grilled little neck clams, and I decided to go for a half order of hand rolled agnolotti with sheep’s milk ricotta, coppa, butternut squash, broccoli rabe and pea tendrils as my first course. When our dishes came out, I looked at mine puzzled. I didn’t remember ordering pasta with a red sauce. I called our server over and explained that I ordered the agnolotti. He thought I ordered the rigatoni bolognese, and apologized. I told my husband to start without me. He thought his clams were going to be cooked more than they were since they were described as being grilled. I mentioned they’ll be rubbery if you over cook them. My pasta arrived five minutes later with a smile and another apology. I was in heaven. Honestly, I could’ve eaten a full portion of this dish and walked away happy.
For the main course he went for the sampling of Eno Terra sausages with creamy polenta, green onions and pickled whole-grain mustard seed. I ordered the yellow fin tuna with baby bok choy, black beluga lentils, hen of the woods mushrooms and celery root purée. My husband said if I could make polenta that good, he’d eat it every week. I’m sorry for not being as great as Chef Albrecht. I must admit, it was really creamy and to die for! He ate the entire chorizo sausage and half of the garlic and the lamb sausages. He was full and not as fond of the latter two. He did find the mustard seeds interesting. My tuna was cooked to perfection. There were a lot of sides with great colors, textures and flavors that all worked well together.
Chocolate-coffee mouse with raspberries, toasted almonds and whipped cream was my husband’s choice of dessert. I love panna cotta, so the buttermilk panna cotta with red wine geleé, raspberries and blueberries along and 2 mini cornmeal biscotti was the right choice for me. Both were very good, and the perfect way to end the meal.
By the way, the upper level I briefly mentioned earlier is for à la carte dining on the weekends or private parties, and there’s also a small private room for events, which can be book for a fee.
We asked our server for the check, took care of the bill, and inquired about the sausages. He told us they’ll be waiting for us in the front. Not many children were present, and those who were there seemed to be over 12 years old. Based on the menu and ambience, I would recommend not bringing smaller children. Overall, this was a very pleasant evening.
There is an extensive wine list, but the menu is limited. The menu is seasonal and changes monthly, and I love that they use local farms like Simply Grazin’ for organic meat and grass-fed beef,Griggstown Farm for all natural, free-range chicken, Cherry Grove Farm for raw milk cheese from grass-fed cows, and Oak Grove Farms. They even have their own small farm, Once Acre Canal Farm, to grow vegetables. Eno Terra offers a Pranzo a Presto 3-course luncheon that changes daily, including a soup or salad, entree, and dessert. Their catch phrase is Eat Local. Drink Global.
This is one of the greenest restaurants I know. Eno Terra supports local farmers, serves organic foods, and is under the helm of Christopher Albrecht, who is a James Beard recognized chef! If you haven’t dined at Eno Terra yet, I highly recommend trying it. I think you’ll really enjoy your experience there.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary gift card to write this review. As you can tell, these are honest opinions. I never disclosed to anyone that I would be writing a review, and took the photos after dining so I wouldn’t make anyone suspicious.